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Ending the 2006 Internal Displacement Crisis in Timor-Leste

Between Humanitarian Aid and Transitional Justice

image of Ending the 2006 Internal Displacement Crisis in Timor-Leste
The 2006 crisis in Timor-Leste saw close to 15 per cent of the population displaced from their homes, threatening to sink the country into protracted instability and violence. Remarkably, less than five years later, the country looks to be back on track, with the internal displacement file from 2006 largely resolved. This study examines the National Recovery Strategy adopted by the Government of Timor-Leste to address the crisis, including the move towards a cash grant programme, and analyses the strengths and weaknesses of national and local measures taken to provide solutions to the displaced. In doing so, the author connects the case of Timor-Leste to the wider debate on displacement, durable solutions and transitional justice, and offers important conclusions for practitioners from each of these perspectives.

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Introduction: The response to the 2006 crisis in Timor-Leste situated in policymaking on internal displacement

Crisis-related internal displacement continues to be a phenomenon of significant scale. In its latest global overview on internal displacement, the Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre (IDMC) reports that, at the end of 2010, “the number of people internally displaced across the world by armed conflict, generalized violence and human rights violations reached 27.5 million”. Also in 2010, an estimated 42 million people were forced to flee due to disasters triggered by sudden-onset natural hazards, with the large majority remaining internally displaced.

English

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